Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pilgrims and Thanksgiving

I have some fond memories of the things I did in school around Thanksgiving, and I try each year to incorporate some of those things into our homeschool. For example, I remember making placemats by dipping my hand in paint and putting my handprint on a large piece of paper, then decorating my handprint as if it were a turkey. So I did that with my kids this year!

Have you made turkeys out of a pine cone and some craft feathers? The kids loved that one too. Another thing that we've enjoyed it talking about what the Pilgrims really ate for their first Thanksgiving. If you're teaching your kids some form of nutrition lessons this year, this is a great go-along with that. When the Pilgrims were just getting established here in America, food was scarce. But during their second year, the harvest was bountiful, and their overall health and nutrition was much improved. It's an awful lot of fun for a kindergartener to pretend to be a Pilgrim and do some meal-planning for a Thanksgiving feast!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

different learning styles

Before I began homeschooling, I'd never heard of this concept that everyone learns a bit differently. I've since come to discover that many books have been written on the subject, and it seems everyone has an opinion on what the different learning styles are and how to best teach each type of learner. Knowing what type of learner your child is will help you teach material in a way they are able to learn with the least effort.

Verbal students do well in traditional school settings. They are good readers and writers, and in general are excellent students because so much of school is geared toward this learning style.

Auditory learners need to hear things to understand. So explaining a concept to them is easier for them to retain than if they must read it to themselves. They learn best by listening and repeating the information back to you rather than reading and writing the material.

Kinesthetic learners are very hands-on and learn best with things they can touch and feel. Math lessons should involve lots of manipulatives to handle, and science of course can be accomplished with plenty of experiments and physical demonstrations. Many kinesthetic kids would rather tour a historical museum or participate in a historical reenactment than read a history text, and reading in general is not one of their favorite activities. Giving some thought to what type of learner your child is can really help you tailor the lessons to help them learn best!